Gen. Greene’s strategies played key role in Vietnam

“In apt summary of his remarkable way of war,  [Nathanael]  Greene wrote, ‘There are few generals that have run oftener, or more lustily than I have done… But I have taken care not to run too far, and commonly have run as fast forward as backward, to convince our enemy that we were like a crab, that could run either way’….”

“In many ways Greene’s strategy and mindset anticipates that of another great self-taught soldier: Vietnam’s Vo Nguyen Giap. Like Greene, Giap had unshakable belief in the cause for which he fought, and was able to transmit that faith to his officers and men. And like Greene, Giap integrated the activities of local militia, guerrilla bands, and conventional army forces to wear down adversaries with greater military skill and strength than his own forces possessed. Giap, too, suffered many setbacks.

“But by the time the U.S. Army squared off against Giap in 1965, it had all but forgotten Greene’s extraordinary achievement in the South — and thus was largely tone deaf to the perils and possibilities of unconventional war.”

— From “Nathanael Greene: The Revolution’s Unconventional Mastermind” by James A. Warren at the Daily Beast (Nov. 27)